Hatriot – The Vale Of Shadows (Album Review)

Release Date: July 22nd 2022 - Massacre Records

Hatriot - The Vale Of Shadows

Hatriot is a thrash metal band from the USA formed in 2011 by (current Exodus singer) Steve “Zetro” Souza and guitarist Kosta Varvatakis. The band’s debut album ‘Heroes Of Origin’ was released in 2013, quickly followed by ‘Dawn Of The New Centurion’ in 2014. The current Hatriot line-up features Souza’s sons, drummer Nick and bass player Cody, alongside Varvatakis and guitarist Kevin Paterson – Steve stepped down as lead singer in 2015, replaced by son Cody. Hatriot released their third album ‘From Days Unto Darkness’ in 2019, with the fourth album ‘The Vale Of Shadows’ a 2022 release.

By far and away Hatriot‘s heaviest and most aggressive work to date, ‘The Vale Of Shadows’ features eleven songs over a very fiery forty-two minutes – with a little metalcore brought into the band’s already fierce sonic arsenal. First up is ‘Horns & Halos’, and a death-defying scream that marries the screech of traditional metal with guttural howls – Cody really is a chip off the old block, maybe even a bit more aggressive! ‘Horns & Halos’ is a fast-paced thrash metal attack that sets the bands to stall out for what is to come. And what’s to come is sheer ferocity – ‘The Hate Inside’ a very heavy and brash battering of attitude-laden menace! The opening double salvo proves that Hatriot has found a new level of aggression, and isn’t afraid to show it.

The band moves swiftly on, with the death come metalcore come thrash rampage that is ‘Forceful Balance’. The fastest song out of the opening three, ‘Forceful Balance’ has metalcore vocals, death metal howls, and thrash metal intensity! And don’t forget the virtuosity of all the musicians – coming together as a cohesive unit to pummel and pound the senses with an avalanche of metal! Without pausing for breath, Hatriot marched on with total venom and vigor – ‘Verminous And Vile’ the next razor-sharp offering cutting a ferocious path across the land. I can just see lesser mortals quivering from head to toe as ‘The Vale Of Shadows’ exhibits a tremendous amount of brutality and menace. The harder and more seasoned mortals among us (like me) are simply loving this. It’s a barrage of brutal breathlessness. And for the first time since the album began, a short mellow passage leads into the very heavy foot stomping ‘Clemency Denied’. More traditional metal sounding than all-out thrash, the metalcore vocals remain, as does the band’s natural menace and venom.

A mix of metalcore and harsh vocals bring ‘The Twenty Fifth Hour’ to life – the band accelerating hard to high velocity! ‘The Twenty Fifth Hour’ is a ferociously fast-paced and very fierce romp of all-out thrash… Hatriot really mixes up the styles of metal to great effect. If you scare easily, then you should really give this album a miss – however, if you like blistering thrash come metalcore with venomous vocals, then this album is just right for you! The sound of traditional heavy metal makes a return among all the raucous ferocity, ‘Only Red Remains’ seamlessly melding together different styles of metal. Hatriot seemingly having an absolute ball with their latest release, ‘Mark Of The Tyrant’ the next aggressive assault. For that’s what this whole album is – an assault of brash, bold, and bludgeoning metal that may leave a few listeners bruised and battered.

(Presumably) the title song ‘Vale Of Shadows’ is another high-velocity rocket with screeching vocals and a head bang ability that is off the charts! Hatriot does like their audience to headbang – and headbang hard! A second mellower moment greets the ears with the intro to ‘Murderous Tranquility’ – a two-minute instrumental taking a massive detour from absolutely everything that has gone before. And if ‘Murderous Tranquility’ was the final song, I would say it was a shame the album ended this way. But it’s not. And this isn’t! ‘Hymn For The Wicked’ is the album closer – and a thundering one at that. Ferocity meets aggression in a collision more devastating than when the asteroid hit Earth to wipe out the dinosaurs! Hatriot ending their fourth album in a blaze of all-out brutality.

Overall, an immensely ferocious and aggressive album of thrash comes metalcore fuelled by menace and venom.

TRACKLIST

Horns & Halos
The Hate Inside
Forceful Balance
Verminous And Vile
Clemency Denied
The Twenty Fifth Hour
Only Red Remains
Mark Of The Tyrant
Vale Of Shadows
Murderous Tranquility
Hymn For The Wicked

Hatriot: Facebook

Release Year: 2022
Label: Massacre Records
Category: Album
Country: USA

Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire, and Metal-Roos.